Menu

Poetry

I will my soul to waken, and my soul does not wake.
My mind busies itself, remembering
forgotten songs from my adolescence.
My mind recalls anything, so as not to listen.
I will my hands to be calm, Lord,
and they fly to my teeth to crease my nails.
Lord, I will myself to be still so I can hear
the tiny voices in me, screaming look at me, look at me….
I will myself to be still so I can embrace the world
but there is too much of the world inside already.
Lord, I ask you to enter me and live here
but the clutter and noise evict you.
Lord, I am sick of myself.
I am not funny or entertaining or clever.
Lord, I will myself to cease.
I will myself to focus a breath apart, a breath
not held or stuttered but deepened.
I will myself to step aside. I will my soul to waken
and, though I do not wake, I am stirring.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

George Herbert on the Road to Salisbury

By

William Wenthe

Go Gentle

By

Richard Pierce

Late Bloomer

By

Daniel Tobin

a plaster house with a yellow painted wooden door sits behind a tree with draping green foliage. the image is light and warm.

The Aging María

By

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Pin It on Pinterest